Organizational Behavior in the Marine Corps: Three Interpretations

Organizational Behavior in the Marine Corps: Three Interpretations

Organizational Behavior in the Marine Corps: Three Interpretations

Organizational Behavior in the Marine Corps: Three Interpretations

Synopsis

A scholarly analysis of Marine Corps survival as seen through the lens of three different organizational theories, this volume is a sourcebook in management and public administration for the "way of seeing" view. Marutollo, intimately familiar with the Marine ethic, provides a practical demonstration of how management theories can be regarded as different ways of seeing rather than predictive schemes. Models used are Population Ecology, Resource Dependence, and Structural Contingency Models. This volume is a one of a kind approach to interpreting management theories.

Excerpt

In Organizational Behavior in the Marine Corps: Three Interpretations,Frank Marutollo has successfully combined two provocative and infrequently represented genres of theoretical literature about organizations. One uses organizational theory to interpret historical events, whereas the other explores the reasons why organizations either survive or fail to do so. The most prominent example of the former genre, Graham T. Allison Essence of Decision (1971), greatly influenced Marutollo's own research strategy for analyzing what he calls "challenge episodes," which have periodically threatened the survival of the Marine Corps. Both Allison and Marutollo use three theoretical lenses to examine their respective subjects (in Allison's case, the Cuban missile crisis), although the models within their trio differ greatly from one another. In the roughly twenty years since the appearance of Essence of Decision, the organizational literature has produced, not surprisingly, a variety of conceptual models, three of which suit Marutollo's present analytical purposes: the Structural Contingency Model, the Resource Dependence Model, and the Population Ecology Model. In Marutollo's hands, the three models disclose the Rashomon-like quality of the challenge episodes, with each model simultaneously revealing some of their aspects while concealing others.

Like Herbert Kaufman Time, Chance, and Organizations (1985), which is probably the best of the "organizational survival" genre of literature, Marutollo's analysis is chiefly speculative and metaphorical, rather than formally explanatory. Marutollo is more self-consciously "theoretical" than Kaufman, however, which may partially explain the former's reluctance to chalk up to chance or luck the Marine Corps's persistence in the face of challenges to its survival. That reluctance, however, might also be due to Marutollo's own . . .

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